Aug. 4: Attention MSU students - August action items

Dear Spartans,

Last academic year was anything but normal, with Spartans having vastly different college experiences than any of us ever expected. With that in mind, we are excited to share five key Fall (Re)Orientation suggestions to help you create your place on campus and acclimate yourself to the full college experience we know you are ready for this fall.

1) Take care of yourself and others

Across the country and here in Michigan, we are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases and are finding the delta variant is more contagious. The new CDC data suggest that even vaccinated individuals can, in some cases, spread the virus. These recent developments, and MSU’s commitment to keeping students, staff, and faculty safe, have led MSU to update requirements, including those for the fall semester. As the President announced earlier this week:

  1. All individuals are required to wear masks indoors in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state. This requirement is in place now and will remain in place for at least the first weeks of the fall semester.
  2. All students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with an FDA-authorized or WHO-approved vaccine by Aug. 31 (at least your first dose). Limited exemptions for medical or religious reasons will be provided.

To help us prepare for fall, we also are requiring all students to fill out a brief survey by Aug. 6, 2021, on whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. You can attest as to whether you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or mark that you prefer not to answer. If you complete the survey, you will receive $20 in your Spartan Cash account. If you have been vaccinated, you also will be eligible to enter a drawing for one of 20 cash prizes of $1,000 each.

Science shows us that a high vaccination rate is our surest way to mitigate the spread of the virus and variants. As a reminder, all members of the MSU community can receive a free COVID-19 vaccination through the MSU Health Care Pharmacy. For those not in the East Lansing area, visit vaccines.gov to find a U.S. vaccination site near you. International students and scholars should seek out a WHO-approved vaccine. For information about MSU’s response to the pandemic, please visit the Together We Will website.

Health and safety have a tremendous impact on your success as a student. Student Health and Wellness offers programs to help you develop healthy behaviors, improve your mental health, get immediate support in a crisis, and more. Health Services, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Health Promotion, Center for Survivors, and Safe Place are always here for you and are preparing to support your needs this fall.

2) Find your way, engage, and make connections

You can get connected at MSU’s wide range of on-campus fall welcome events, including Fall Convocation, Sparticipation, and the Health, Wellness and Club Sports Fair. Get the details on all the upcoming events at fallwelcome.msu.edu. Many of these events, coordinated by Student Affairs and Services, have been designed to meet your unique needs this fall. For some of our International Students, and other students who may not be able to travel to campus, there will be both live event options and recordings available.

We encourage you to visit Involve@State, MSU’s student engagement portal that connects you with student clubs and groups. The students we talked with during our (Re)Orientation planning told us they are excited to connect with fellow students. You can search for Registered Student Organizations to join, events to go to, campus updates, and more. Information on activities and events are on MSU’s Events Calendar, and services for all students (such as academic, intercultural, social, wellness) are at the Neighborhood Engagement Centers.

3) Get ready for classrooms and labs

MSU’s Keep Teaching and Keep Learning websites will continue to be updated with new information as we get closer to the start of classes. Faculty and instructors will be including important information in their syllabi so you can engage in the classroom and labs online, hybrid, or in-person. In the meantime, you can access the fall 2021 and spring 2022 class schedules on the Student Information System to verify the day/time of class meetings and class locations, add classes to your shopping cart, and change or update your schedule. If you have any questions, please contact reg@msu.edu or (517) 355-3300. If you are new to MSU, you will have a hold on your account until you have met with your adviser and have completed your NSO modules. You can visit the University’s Academic Calendar as you make plans for the fall semester.

4) Get involved outside the classroom

Getting involved in on-campus employment, research, internships, service learning, and undergraduate seminars helps structure your time, develop skill sets, and build connections with other Spartans. It makes our large campus feel like a small community. Connections to these activities have been added to our Fall Welcome events to create access to these areas for second-year and other returning students. You can also sign up for first-year seminars, designed specifically to support your transition to campus, when you enroll in classes for fall.

Whether you are searching for a part-time job, internship, or full-time position, our careernetwork.msu.edu provides ways for you to connect with employers on campus and virtually. Your college career coaches can also talk to you about jobs and internships. In addition, undergraduate research opportunities can be found in any field of study at MSU, and you can participate in Community Engaged Learning over the summer and throughout the year.

5) Connect with important resources

Moving to campus: Live On at MSU is hosting Move-In Info Sessions with New Student Orientation on the below dates and times. These sessions are offered to everyone who will be living on campus this fall, not just first-year students. Registration links can be found at https://orientation.msu.edu/nso-webinar-series/.

  • Wednesday August 11 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday August 14 at 8 a.m.
  • Sunday August 15 at 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday August 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Parents of current MSU students will have an opportunity to hear from university leaders regarding current operations to meet student needs at our Spartan Family Office Hours that we will be hosting later in August. We will share dates and times for these as soon as we can.

Nutrition: On or off campus, student dining plans are designed for you to eat on campus or on the go. There is an opportunity to engage with Spartans across campus at each of our dining halls, Sparty’s mini-markets, several Starbucks, and other locations all over campus. Check out dining plan options at eatatstate.com. We know that many students and their families are struggling financially. If you are in this situation, the MSU Student Food Bank is here to help.

Paying bills: Tuition payment due dates. If you are not receiving any financial aid, a fall tuition payment was due by Aug. 1 at student.msu.edu. However, this year, MSU will not assess late fees until Aug. 15 to allow families extra time. If you are receiving financial aid, the University knows there is some confusion about the student tuition bills for Fall Semester 2021. In most cases, the bills do not reflect the financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans, etc.) you can expect to receive. Federal rules require the university to wait until 10 days before the start of the semester to apply your aid. Aid will be applied to your accounts by late August for fall semester. No late fees will be processed until after Sept. 1, 2021, for students who use financial aid. If you have questions about your bill, contact Student Accounts at 517-355-3343. If you have questions about your financial aid, call 517-353-5940 to speak with an advisor, or email us at finaid@msu.edu.

Tips about managing your money. If you are interested in understanding more about how to manage your money, we will be offering Financial Literacy Education classes this fall through the MSU Federal Credit Union.

The entire campus community will work through the fall semester to make sure you are adjusting to being in the classroom, building connections, engaging in campus to support your learning and growth, and processing transitions and loss from last year. We can’t wait to see you back on campus and hope these Fall (Re)orientation resources help make it a year filled with support and opportunity. Please check your MSU email regularly for updates and reminders.

If you have any questions about anything related to MSU, please email studentaffairs@msu.edu

Sincerely,

 

Vennie Gore

Senior Vice President for Residential and Hospitality Services and Auxiliary Enterprises, and

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Services

 

Mark Largent

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies